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Engaging older workers: the role of a supportive psychological climate

Steven Kilroy (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Karina Van de Voorde (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Dorien Kooij (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Sophie van den Dungen (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

ISSN: 2051-6614

Article publication date: 8 March 2022

Issue publication date: 20 April 2022

299

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate if a supportive psychological climate specifically aimed at older workers (i.e. employee perceptions that the organization supports and activates older workers) will result in higher levels of older workers' vitality and dedication mediated through increased levels of older workers' perceived organizational support (POS).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a two-wave survey study among 209 older university employees (aged above 45 years) using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results revealed that a change in supportive psychological climate is positively associated with a change in vitality and dedication, which was mediated by a change in POS.

Practical implications

Since workforces are aging around the world, one of the most pressing challenges for human resource managers is to find effective strategies to encourage older workers to remain engaged and active members of the workforce for as long as possible. In this study, the authors demonstrate that a supportive psychological climate for older workers is particular important in this regard.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is that it identifies the important role of a supportive psychological climate for older workers in predicting older workers engagement i.e. vitality and dedication, while also shedding light on the underlying mechanisms involved.

Keywords

Citation

Kilroy, S., Van de Voorde, K., Kooij, D. and van den Dungen, S. (2022), "Engaging older workers: the role of a supportive psychological climate", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 336-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOEPP-04-2021-0097

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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